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Study finds half of US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes

FILE - In this Sunday, April 29, 2012 file photo, a 19-year old diagnosed with diabetes gives herself an injection of insulin at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, Calif.
FILE - In this Sunday, April 29, 2012 file photo, a 19-year old diagnosed with diabetes gives herself an injection of insulin at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, Calif. AP Photo/Reed Saxon

CHICAGO – New research suggests that half of all U.S. adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

The study of government health surveys echoes previous research and shows numbers increased substantially between 1988 and 2012 although they mostly levelled off after 2008. Overall, 12 per cent to 14 per cent of adults had diagnosed diabetes in 2012, the latest data available. Most of that is Type 2 diabetes, the kind linked with obesity and inactivity.

Almost 40 per cent have pre-diabetes, meaning elevated blood sugar levels that could lead to full-fledged disease. Studies have shown lifestyle changes can delay or prevent diabetes in these people.

Whites had lower diabetes rates than Hispanics, blacks and Asian-Americans.

The study is based on surveys involving in-home exams and questionnaires. It was published in Tuesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

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